MEPs 'very comfortable' with lobbyists reveals top public affairs expert

As Brussels is criticised over the power of food industry lobbying, a top public affairs expert has revealed that lobbyists are frequent visitors to MEPs' offices.

Reavealing lobbying plans: Kellogg's
Reavealing lobbying plans: Kellogg's

Today's Independent has unveiled emails sent by food industry lobbyists to MEPs attempting to block the colour-coded traffic lights food labelling system, claiming that it is incapable of informing shoppers about the right diet.
 
Following this, European Parliament has rejected the traffic light system devised by the Food Standards Agency in favour of the food-industry supported Guideline Daily Amounts.
 
Which policy advocate Mette Kahlin said to The Independent: ‘While I was lobbying in Brussels for Which, it was clear I was outnumbered by industry lobbyists 100-1. Consumer and health organisations don't have enough money to match that.'
 
Bell Pottinger Public Affairs chairman Peter Bingle responded to this by admitting: ‘You will often see lobbyists walking around the parliament and the commission and in MEPs offices. There's a very different view of lobbying in Brussels.'
 
He added: ‘The European Parliament and the Commission have always been very comfortable with lobbyists - much more so than national governments.'
 
Kellogg's, Danone, Coca-Cola and Nestle are some of the manufacturers whose lobbying campaigns have been revealed today.

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